Evenings With History Fall Series to Focus on Civil Rights Struggles in Arkansas

UALR has announced lectures for the 2011-2012 Evenings With History series, sponsored by the University History Institute. All lectures will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Ottenheimer Auditorium at the Historic Arkansas Museum at 200 E. 3rd Street in downtown Little Rock. Five history faculty members and one guest lecturer will be this years’ featured presenters. 

To mark the inauguration of the UALR Institute on Race and Ethnicity, talks for fall 2011 will constitute a mini-series which will focus on the struggle of African Americans in Arkansas to secure freedom.

Fall 2011 Series

Tuesday, October 4

“Freedom: Black Arkansans and the End of Slavery,” presented by professor of history, Carl Moneyhon.

The end of slavery brought a continuing struggle in which blacks and whites maneuvered to define precisely what the end of slavery meant for those who had been enslaved. In this lecture, Moneyhon will examine that struggle as it took place in Arkansas.

Tuesday, November 1

“From Land Ownership to Legal Defense: The World War I Watershed in Black Arkansan Organizing,” presented by guest lecturer assistant professor of history Story Matkin-Rawn from the University of Central Arkansas. 

Labor exploitation and fraud cut many black farmers off from the benefits of prosperity during World War I. Hundreds of African American farmers organized in the Progressive Farmers and Householders Union to confront these obstacles; the union was destroyed by the Elaine massacre. In this lecture, Matkin-Rawn will discuss how this tragedy marked a beginning as well as an ending in black history,

Tuesday, December 6

“A Movement is More than a Moment: Arkansas and the African American Civil Rights Struggle since 1940,” presented by Donaghey Professor and chair of history John A. Kirk.

The civil rights movement in Arkansas is often summed up by one event – the Central High Crisis of 1957. In this lecture, Kirk will examine the long civil rights movement in Arkansas locating the Central High Crisis within a much longer, deeper and richer civil rights history in the state

Spring 2012 

Tuesday, February 7

“The Heavenly History of the Han, or How a Liberal Baptist from Green Forest, Arkansas, Taught Racial and Ethnic Nationalism to the Chinese,” presented by assistant professor of history Jeff Kyong-McClain.

In the early years of the twentieth century, Chinese (or “Han”) nationalists were searching for ways to convert a tradition-bound and multi-cultural empire in to a modern nation-state. In the minds of these nationalists, foreign missionaries were a big part of China’s problem. Kyong-McClain will talk about the case of one missionary in particular, Arkansan D.C. Graham, who propagated the belief in the superiority of the Chinese over people in southern China.

Tuesday, March 6

“A Brief History of Human Rights,” presented by assistant professor of history, Charles Romney. 

Some claim humans have always had rights that cannot be traded, infringed or given away. Others argue the international organizations and American officials invented the concept of human rights in the 1970s to further political agendas. Romney will explore the political and intellectual stakes in the debate over the origins of human rights. 

Tuesday, April 3

“Counter-Insurgency: The Lessons of Alexander the Great” presented by professor of history Edward Anson.

During Alexander the Great’s conquering expedition, which took him from Greece to Egypt to the Punjab, he endured only one serious insurrection against his established authority. In his lecture, Anson will discuss this strategic failure and examine the brutal counter-insurgent measures employed by Alexander to deal with this resistance to his authority. 

An individual can subscribe to the Evenings With History series for $50 annually, which includes admission to all six lectures. A joint subscription to the series, at $90 annually, offers savings of $10 to couples and friends. At $250 annually, a Fellow of the Institute receives the previous benefits, plus an invitation to special presentations for Fellows exclusively. This often includes a private evening with noted authors. The Institute also offers a Life membership at $1,000 that can be paid in installments.

Subscribers to the series help support historical research. Presenters donate their time, and the University History Institute uses all proceeds from the series to encourage research at UALR.

The University History Institute is a nonprofit organization of private citizens interested in history and supporting UALR. 

For more information, contact the Department of History at 501.569.3235 or go to ualr.edu/history.

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